News / Africa

Rights Groups Challenge Kenyan Remark on Displaced People

Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, centre, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, left, stands with Gen Julius Waweru Karangi, right, Chief of the Defence Forces, as they watch the passing out parade and fly over by the Kenyan Air Force, Oct. 20, 2013.
Gabe Joselow
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said all people displaced by post-election violence in 2007 and 2008 have been resettled.  Rights groups say that is untrue and accuse the president of trying to paper over the crimes for which he is facing charges at the International Criminal Court.  

It was a passing remark, delivered Sunday toward the end of a speech marking Kenya’s Mashujaa Day - a holiday honoring the heroes of independence.
President Kenyatta was describing how his administration was committed to moving beyond a “dark, backward and dangerous past” in which Kenya was torn apart by ethnic violence.

“We have already made important strides in this regard, through equitable appointments in the Cabinet and public service. We have also resettled all internally displaced persons and are doing all we can to allow them to integrate back into society,” he said.

Kenyatta was referring, in part, to more than 500,000 people who were displaced during the inter-ethnic fighting that followed the disputed presidential election in 2007. He and his deputy, William Ruto, are facing separate trials at the ICC for their alleged roles orchestrating the violence, which killed more than 1,100 people.
But rights groups say despite Mr. Kenyatta’s claim, thousands are still living in camps for internally displaced people.

Keffa Karuoya is the program officer with the Internal Displacement Policy and Advocacy Center in Kenya. “We had a meeting just about two weeks ago with all the leadership of the IDPs in the remaining camps. There were about 46 camps, and each camp was ranging between 50 and 100-plus,” Karuoya said.

The Kenyatta administration had previously announced an initiative to resettle all remaining internally displaced people by September 20. Families were to receive cash payments worth $4,700 (400,000 Kenyan Shillings) to help them find new homes.

Nick Omitto, chief executive officer of the Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Eldoret, Kenya, says the program has been ineffective and that thousands of people are still displaced.

He suspects Kenyatta’s remarks are part of an agenda to “hoodwink” the ICC into thinking the victims of the violence have been compensated.

“It’s creating an image to tell the world the country is at peace and there are no political IDPs on the streets and the post election violence of 2007 has settled - the dust has settled - but I believe that that’s not the true picture,” Omitto stated.

President Kenyatta is due to attend his trial at the ICC court in The Hague November 12.

Trial chamber judges ruled Friday the Kenyan president would not have to attend all of the proceedings in person, but his presence is required for the opening and closing statements of all parties and when victims testify.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs